SIALKOT: The project of establishing the campus of Fatima Jinnah Women’s university in Sialkot has been stalled for the past two and half years.
Former Punjab governor Khalid Maqbool had announced the early establishment of the campus during his visit to Sialkot in 2007 during the Musharraf’s regime. The Higher Education Commission (HEC) had previously released a special grant of Rs30m to set up the campus on 200 acres of land near Sialkot. Government functionaries concerned were of the view that the project was deliberately being kept ‘in cold storage’ by bureaucratic maneuverings.
They said that the allotment of the land to the campus by the federal and provincial government had not yet been finalised, adding that 300 acres of government land in the Sialkot district was being located for this purpose. The establishment of Fatima Jinnah Women university in Sialkot will help provide higher education opportunities to thousands of young women at the local level.
Local people have blamed the delay on inaction on part of the federal and provincial government. “Girls have to go to Lahore, Islamabad or other cities for higher education and it is hard for us to bear such expenses,” said Muhammar Tahir, a parent. Local social, religious, educational and political circles have urged the Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif to pursue the matter seriously.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 24th, 2010.